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Work Permit Processing Times Threaten Contempt for USCIS (1)

Sept. 22, 2022, 3:45 PMUpdated: Sept. 22, 2022, 8:54 PM

A federal district court in Washington state will consider Friday whether US Citizenship and Immigration Services should be held in contempt of court after months of failing to comply with an order that it process asylum seekers’ work permit applications within 30 days.

The share of applications that USCIS cleared within that timeline has plummeted in recent months—from 68% in March to just 4.4% in July.

Plaintiffs in the class action—asylum seekers whose initial work permit applications have been pending more than 30 days—are seeking to enforce a 2018 injunction against the agency. Subsequent Trump administration rules tightening access to ...